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Real Estate Q&A: Bank Blows Its Own Short Sale Deadline

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By Gary M. Singer

missed_deadline_calendar_pages(MCT)—QUESTION: I’m buying a short sale. After I submitted the application, the seller’s bank told me I could expect an answer in 30 days. But that date has come and gone with no answer yet. It’s an all-cash offer for market value. Doesn’t the bank have to follow its own deadline and at least give me an answer in the time frame it set?

ANSWER: You would think so, but that’s often not the case. When working with a lender in any sort of loss mitigation, it’s imperative to follow up politely, but incessantly, even when asked to wait a certain amount of time.

If you are asked to wait for a month, follow up weekly to make sure the lender has everything, and the process is moving forward. Once the deadline is missed, contact the lender every day or two. Remember that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, but also remember you are dealing with actual people who will naturally want to help you more if you are polite and professional rather than rude and nasty.

Also remember that while the lender usually won’t meet its own deadlines, don’t miss any of yours — or the short sale likely will be denied and you will have to start over. You really need large helpings of patience and stick-to-it-iveness whenever you’re working to complete a short sale.

Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar.

©2014 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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